Not Dongfeng, but China’s Geely currently looks best positioned to profit from U.S. government largesse by buying beleaguered and DOE-funded plug-in car maker Fisker, Reuters reports. According to the report, “Zhejiang Geely Holding Group is favored to secure a majority stake in troubled U.S. electric car maker Fisker Automotive, according to two sources familiar with Fisker’s search for a strategic investor or partner.”
Also according to the report, red flags are sure to flutter over Fisker’s HQ in Anaheim, as Fisker “is currently weighing bids from two Chinese auto makers: Geely, the owner of Sweden’s Volvo, and state-owned Dongfeng Motor Group Co.”
Geely and Dongfeng did offer between $200 million to $300 million for a controlling interest in Fisker. Reuters’ sources think Geely has the inside track, because Geely is “more serious” and “passionate” about Fisker and its technology, the company also is said to be able to “move fast in making decisions — unlike Dongfeng, whose responsiveness could be hampered by its multi-layered decision-making structure typical in a Chinese state-owned enterprise.”
In 2009, Fisker received a $528.7 million conditional loan from the DOE. After drawing down $193 million, the credit line was frozen, following a series of scandals surrounding other DOE recipients. Production was shut down in summer of 2012 while fresh capital was sought. The financial troubles of Fisker’s battery supplier A123 gave Fisker another reason not to restart production. A123, another recipient of DOE largesse, was sold off to China.
Which is where DOE recipients appear to get outsourced to.